Roxham Road: Trudeau challenges Poilievre’s call to close

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has slammed Conservative Party leader Pierre Poirivre’s call for the federal government to close the irregular border crossing on Wroxham Road in Quebec as a “simple solution”. , said the best course of action would be to renegotiate the Canada-US immigration deal, known as the Safe Third. national agreement.

“Would someone build a barricade and a big wall? Yes. If Pierre Polivre wanted to build a wall on Wroxham Road, someone could. We have a shared border that is unprotected and … people will choose to cross … elsewhere,” Trudeau said Wednesday.

“The only way to effectively close off not just Wroxham Road, but the entire border, to close these irregular intersections is to renegotiate safe third country agreements. It’s serious work going on.”

On Tuesday, Poilievre called on the federal government to present a plan to close the Wroxham Road intersection along the Quebec-New York border within a month, likely for some time during the COVID-19 pandemic. As was suggested that it can be done. At a press conference on the topic, Conservative leaders accused Trudeau of encouraging irregular crossings there after years of failing to find a solution.

“If we are a real country, we have borders. If this is a real prime minister, he is responsible for that border,” Polivre said. “He has been six years since the influx began. It is his job to close the borders and we are calling on him to do so.”

The prime minister said Wednesday that while the “simple solution” is not how it is done, the government has been working alongside the United States for years to completely but compassionately eliminate all irregular intersections. I have been considering how to close it.

“We are making real progress,” the prime minister said.

This came shortly after Quebec Prime Minister Francois Legault raised the issue. Back to National Political Agenda By asking Trudeau to prioritize renegotiating safe third-country agreements when U.S. President Joe Biden visits next month. Legault says the deal has resulted in a disproportionate increase in the influx of immigrants to Quebec, which Trudeau acknowledges.

“We will continue to remain in Quebec, fulfill our international obligations and continue to work to ensure a safe, secure and rigorous immigration system,” he said.

federal numbers show 39,000+ After crossing overland to Quebec in 2022, he applied for asylum.

The cross-border agreement was first signed in 2002, and despite some recent adjustments, talks about modernizing it have been underway since 2018. input.

The loophole that the agreement applies only to official border crossings means that asylum seekers who successfully enter the country through unofficial crossings such as Wroxham Road will not be returned.

In March 2020, the government began refusing to admit asylum seekers as part of a series of border measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19. According to Reuters, the policy will remain in place until late 2021 and has driven out more than 500 immigrants. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that the approach was “pretty effective”.

‘Reckless’ approach to legitimate concerns: minister

Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship also called Polivre’s proposal “reckless” on Wednesday and said the concerns raised by Lego were valid.

“Frankly, to simply say ‘close Wroxham Road in 30 days’ is a reckless and unthoughtful approach,” Fraser said Wednesday morning in Dartmouth, New South Wales. Speaking to the media, he told reporters.

“If we take such an approach, instead of actually treating people with dignity and respect … the consequences could be serious risks for vulnerable migrants seeking safe haven in Canada. and you may be forced to go through dangerous parts, especially at this time of year, when you don’t know how the elements will affect you and your family.”

Mr Fraser said Wednesday that Legault was right to raise the issue, noting that Quebec faces disproportionate pressure not only on the province’s social services but also on its health and education systems. Nevertheless, he called Polyvre’s approach:

“The time has come to resolve issues through adult conversations with our most important strategic trading partners in the United States,” Fraser said, calling for a “lasting resolution” between Canadian and U.S. officials. ” pointed out the ongoing conversation.

Work Underway to Expedite Applications and Move Migrants

Fraser said work is underway across the country to fund communities in other provinces, including Ontario and Atlantic Canada, with capacity to accommodate additional asylum seekers.

“Canada bears the brunt of the challenges we face as a result of our compliance with our national and legal obligations, because it is neither fair nor right for one community or one province to bear the burden. says Fraser.

Polivre has also called on the federal government to speed up the processing of asylum claims, saying that Canada needs more immigrants but that “we need to do it in an orderly and legal way. ‘ said.

Responding to a question about immigration processing times, Fraser said 5.1 million applications were reviewed last year, which has enabled his department to process more claims on time, resulting in a large volume of backlogs. It stated that improvements were being made to address the logged issues.

“The fact that Canada has become the world’s most sought-after country for workers means that the immigration system is facing demands it has never seen before,” Fraser said.

Using Spencer Van Dyk’s file from CTV News

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